Whatever you may think of where the money is coming from, there is no doubt the players on the LIV Tour are swimming in it. Dustin Johnson was having one of his worst years in a while and dropped to 16th in the world before he left. He hadn’t finished worse than 8th since 2014 and that was in large part from being out of action and only playing 16 events. In 8 tournaments on the LIV tour Johnson pocketed 35 over million dollars playing essentially watered-down fields. The contract details aren’t fully known, but it’s believed this is on top of whatever 9-figure deal he got to be one of the original players to bolt. DJ Made 35 million in prize money in 8 events, while making 74 million on the PGA Tour in 15 years. Scottie Scheffler led the PGA Tour money list last season, winning $14.05 million in 25 events.
The riches don’t just extend to the top dogs, even 30-something journeymen are cashing in the golden tickets. Peter Uihlein made 12 million in 8 events, having only made 4 million on the PGA Tour after grinding for 10 years. That’s with all the stress of just trying to keep his card most of that time as well. Branden Grace was once a top 10 player in the world who had fallen on hard times but won more in 8 events than he had on the PGA tour in 12 years. Granted he has made some money on the DP and African tours as well. Still, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the 16 million he pocketed this year having only made 12 million on the PGA.
Patrick Reed outside some of the South Korean players was one of the hardest grinders on tour, especially of the top-ranked ones. He’s consistently overplayed the 52 tournament divisor on official world rankings where you can inflate your rank. He would have more events on his calendar than almost any top level player. It helped inflate his world rankings but no one could question his work ethic. He spoke about making the money and not working as hard and having more time with his family. Reed made 12 million in 7 events after having made 37 million in 12 years with one of the heaviest schedules.
Pat Prez is an oldster cashing in while he can at 46 years old. He said as much at his introductory press conference as he’s near the end. Well, he pocketed 8 million in prize money in 8 events. He had made 28 million in 21 years on the PGA tour, many years struggling to keep his card. In his LIV press conference, he talked about having to miss the birth of his child because he was on the borderline of the Fedex cut line. It was either try to play for his card and the most lucrative part of the season or not. He was the most unapologetic player about going to LIV I heard and when you hear his story you could understand why.
These dudes are winning at life and golf, and some of it is simply being on the right teams. You have to think many of the players on the PGA Tour are looking at these eye popping numbers from guys like Uihlein or Prez especially who they probably were ranked better than and wondering what the heck they are doing on the PGA grinding 25 or 30 tournaments. Some aren’t even making 500k and struggling to even keep their status or get paid at all. That’s if they get to pick their schedule at all. I have to think there will be more defections simply from making good money and not having to grind 25+ weeks a year, but for a lot of players at the Uihlein level they missed the boat…..All that money and they can even wear shorts……. There has to be a lot of jealousy right now.